The sixth annual Norfolk Safer Community Awards (NOSCAs) celebrated outstanding contributions made by police officers, PCSOs, police staff and members of the community and was held at Holiday Inn, Norwich for the first time.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey hosted this very special event to which all the shortlisted entries were invited and winners were awarded with a piece of Caithness crystal. They were joined by the event sponsors, invited guests from the community and senior officers and staff.
Speaking on the evening Mr Bailey said: “The NOSCAs provides us with the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the exceptional work and contributions of many of our officers, staff and residents. The event highlights examples of dedication and praise for our officers, staff and community partners for their efforts. It must be remembered that while our employees are expected to make this important work a priority, local members of the community give their time voluntarily to help keep Norfolk a wonderful and safe place to live, work and visit.
“I also extend my sincere thanks to our partners and sponsors who continue to generously support the NOSCAs, helping us to make this event possible.
“Finally, I wish to congratulate everyone who was nominated for an award this year. With an increased number of nominations over last year and an extremely high standard of entries, competition was intense. I am proud to be in a role which allows me to lead a Constabulary so firmly focused on the needs of our communities.”
Last year’s winners:
Student Officer of the Year
Sponsored by City College Norwich
Winner: PC Peter Harvey
Runner Up: PC Natalie Quinn
PC Harvey’s empathy and compassion for the public while remaining resilient in difficult situations has earned him this nomination. He has already confronted issues head on, taking part in numerous drugs warrants and also identifying and dealing with anti social behaviour in St George’s Park. Pete has become an invaluable part of the Great Yarmouth policing team.
Investigator of the Year
Sponsored by Abbeygate
Winner: PC Graeme Poole
Runner Up: Anthony Deacon
PC Poole works in the Custody Investigation Unit at Great Yarmouth, dealing with high volumes of detainees but also complex issues. Graeme has investigated an arranged marriage, lengthy inquiries into a multi offence eBay fraud, as well as theft and use of stolen credit cards. An officer highly regarded by peers and supervisors alike.
The John (Cecil) Mason Volunteer of the Year Award
Sponsored by The Police & Crime Commissioner for Norfolk
Winner: Rona Benson
Runner Up: Brian Rose
Rona has worked as a volunteer for over five years and in the past 12 months alone she has contributed in excess of 20 hours a week to the Constabulary. Duties include assistant manager for Gorleston CCTV, Coastal Crime watch administrator and completion of a vehicle parking initiative in the town. These and much more have made Rona an integral part of the Gorleston Safer Neighbourhood Team. Her warm and welcoming manner and dedication inspires other volunteers who respect and look up to her for guidance.
The Reach Out Award
Sponsored by the East of England Co-operative
Winner: PC Ashley Grant
Runner Up: PCSO Hau Yee Lam
PC Grant has made a real difference in relations between police and the Traveller community. This building up of trust came to the fore last year when Ashley was involved in sensitive investigations requiring careful intervention. Ashley has been instrumental in breaking down barriers and reducing tensions, spending many hours forging better relationships between police and Travellers.
The Excellence Award
Sponsored by Reed Specialist Recruitment
Winner: PC Paula Gilluley
Runner Up: Restorative Practices
PC Gilluley is a key member of the Swaffham Safer Neighbourhood Team. As Beat Manager, she has investigated 33 crimes in the past year with an impressive detection rate of almost 80%. With support from the Safer Neighbourhood Team, Paula has also identified and resolved a significant anti-social behaviour problem in an area of Swaffham whilst giving support to vulnerable children.
Young Citizen(s) of the Year
Sponsored by Shell UK Exploration & Production
Winner: Alfy Knott
Runner Up: Open Academy – Green Team
Alfy took part in ‘The Challenge’ project in King’s Lynn following a difficult few months. It had such an impact on him that he has offered to assist in their future projects. In June, Alfy also helped a lady who he saw knocked over by a cyclist. He took control of the situation, called emergency services and stayed with the person until a paramedic arrived – all this despite knowing he’d be late arriving for his maths GCSE exam. The injured lady tracked him down through a letter to the Kings Lynn Academy to thank him for his assistance.
Problem Solver of the Year
Sponsored by NPS Group
Winner: The Herbert Protocol Team
Runner Up: PC Mike Larkin
Inspector Gary Crowther and PCSO Phil Berkeley created the Herbert Protocol in an effort to reduce the incidents of people who go missing from care homes and mental health residences. The agreement also improves the response of police and staff when a person goes missing. It has resulted in a 31 per cent reduction in missing person cases from participating care homes. The protocol is now being replicated in eight other forces around the country.
Community Citizen(s) of the Year
Sponsored by The Police & Crime Commissioner for Norfolk
Winner: Margaret Jennis
Runner Up: Asta Noreikiene
Margaret has been nominated for her work in Cobholm where she endeavours to make it a safer, more connected and friendlier place for all the residents. She serves on the ‘Make It Happen’ Neighbourhood Management board for the area, helps set up youth initiatives and is a member of the Residents’ Association and the Cobholm Credit Union, which supports people on low incomes. The list is endless! Margaret says she does it simply because she cares about her community.
The Chief Constable’s Special Recognition Awards
Sponsored by Norfolk Chamber of Commerce
Winner: PC Michael Andrew
He is described by his District Commander, as always being the first in on shift, and the last to leave, always willing to assist his colleagues and taking a huge amount of pride in delivering a first class service to the public.
This officer has recently been involved in two activities which have been significant to both the Constabulary and the public, in which he has dedicated his own time to help make a difference to people’s lives.
Firstly, this officer was one of the driving forces behind a recent charity event which saw Norfolk Police take on the Fire Service at a boxing event in Norwich back in June. The officer took the time to help set up the event, train the team, and supported the boxers on the night ringside, as they did battle with fire officers.
But perhaps more significantly this officer has been central to developing a new Cadet programme for the Constabulary. In his own time and with other colleagues this officer has provided the mentoring, training and support to a group of 14 young people who last week paraded in a passing out ceremony in Thetford.
Winner: Serious Collision Investigation Team
The second Chief Constable’s Special Recognition Award is for a group of police officers and staff who have earned respect and praise from the people of the county. Recently retired Senior Coroner William Armstrong in particular commends this team for:
o Investigating fatal road traffic collisions in a thorough and comprehensive manner and maintaining the highest possible professional standards at all times
o Maintaining effective liaison with his office and developing a very close working relationship with his team of officers
o Helping to ensure that those bereaved as a result of road traffic fatalities receive appropriate support and guidance and are dealt with in a manner which is, not only professional and efficient, but compassionate and sensitive
o Helping to ensure that bereaved families are conversant with the inquest process and understand the procedures involved
o Helping to provide the bereaved with appropriate support at inquest hearings and working in effective liaison with the Coroner Service Chaplain and the Inquest Support Service.
Mr Armstrong describes it as being a great privilege to work with members of this team, and has been deeply impressed by their professionalism and commitment.
The team is made up of experienced Roads Policing officers who have undergone substantial further training to achieve the skills to effectively investigate road traffic collisions involving death or life changing injuries.
In 2012, across both counties, the team investigated collisions from which there were 55 fatalities, 118 victims with life changing injuries and conducted 181 vehicle examinations linked to these collisions.
The team is led by Ch Insp Chris Spinks and Insp Chris Brooks with support from two sergeants and a civilian Senior Investigating Officer. The officers are based at Wymondham, Norfolk and Stowmarket in Suffolk.
Officer of the Year – Police Officer
Sponsored by Eastern Daily Press
Winner: PC Andy Tomlinson
Runner Up: PC Paul Fox
PC Tomlinson is the Beat Manager for Bowthorpe and has worked there for several years. He has established good relationships within the community and has become a well-known local figure. He has also established and strengthened local links with partner agencies aiming to reduce crime and anti social behaviour for local residents.
Community Officer of the Year – PCSO
Sponsored by Eastern Daily Press
Winner: PCSO Graham Aldridge
Runner Up: PSCO Rebecca Taylor
PCSO Graham Aldridge works from Bethel Street police station and has been a PCSO for five years. Graham is regarded by all as an extremely hardworking, diligent and dedicated officer who has made a huge impact on the quality of life for the community. He has forged strong links with local diverse communities and faith groups.
Community Officer of the Year – Special
Sponsored by Eastern Daily Press
Winner: Special Sergeant Tom Dawson
Runner Up: Special Constable William Service
Special Sergeant Tom Dawson has been an integral part of the Special Constabulary since joining the force in November 2009. Since promotion to the rank of Special Sergeant he has jointly developed the policing of the city’s night time economy using Special Constables to support the policing on Thursday evenings.
Outstanding Team of the Year
Sponsored by GSL Dardan
Runner Up: Volume Crime Investigation Team
ICT has had a challenging but successful year joining together two very separate ICT environments across Norfolk and Suffolk. Some staff have worked long hours over protracted periods to meet the challenging timescales. The team also continued to maintain resources for other major events such as Latitude and the Royal Norfolk Show. The team has risen to the tasks maintaining their focus on supporting frontline policing.
Safer Neighbourhood Team of the Year
Sponsored by Northgate Public Services
Winner: Swaffham SNT
Runner Up: Sheringham SNT
Swaffham Safer Neighbourhood Team is a well-established team achieving outstanding results for the benefit of their community. They are forward-thinking and proactive and work with the community to identify and resolve problems. Their local knowledge is second to none and contributed to the investigation and prosecution of offenders who caused a significant amount of damage in Swaffham. They have established a number of watch schemes as well as working with youth groups and vulnerable communities.
In addition two special presentations were made on the night:
Community Officer of the Year PC Andy Tomlinson was presented with the Jim Wilson Plate which is presented annually to the Community Police Officer of the Year by ex-Chairman of the Police Authority Jim Wilson.
Student Officer of the Year PC Peter Harvey received the Armada Plate, which is awarded annually to the student police officer who has shown the most significant progress.
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who made a nomination, as well as all the sponsors whose financial support allowed the event to be held.